#drinkmontanabeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
There’s no question that barrel aging and blending beers are a true form of art. I have admired this art form for years and after moving to Bozeman, Montana, I quickly learned that Bozeman Brewing excels at it. They have a wide variety of beers in their sour program, dubbed the Bozeman Underground. They affectionately gave it that name because their barrel aging facility is actually underneath the brewery — hence the name Bozeman Underground. The beers within their sour program range from Goses, Lambic-inspired Ales, Tripels and Flanders style to name a handful. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ryan Beal, brewer and cellarman at Bozeman Brewing, to discuss their sours, the barrel aging process and blending. Ryan is responsible for overseeing the sour program and everything that goes along with it. The knowledge and passion Ryan possesses for his craft, clearly shine through in his sour and funky ales.
Bozeman is a growing and thriving city, nestled in the mountains in Southwest Montana. Bozeman residents love the outdoors, and they also love their beer. Montana has one of the highest brewery per capita numbers in the nation. Bozeman currently has eight breweries one can visit, with more in the works. The city also supports some production-only breweries and a kombucha producer. If you ever find yourself in Bozeman, here are some excellent beers to try (and breweries worth visiting).
There are currently well over 7,000 breweries in the U.S., each of them have a unique story to tell. Bunkhouse Brewery in Bozeman, Montana is a unique nano-brewery located steps away from the campus of Montana State University and the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Bunkhouse is what many would consider a neighborhood brewery. They only distribute to a couple accounts and heavily rely on taproom foot traffic and sales. These types of breweries have been hit hard during the COVID pandemic and have had to get creative and adjust on the fly. Fortunately, Bunkhouse is producing as much beer as ever and is still focusing on the community aspect of the brewery.
While Oktoberfest style beers and Pumpkin Ales get all the attention as summer turns to fall, true beer fans know what September brings: fresh hop season. Fresh hops or wet hops, depending on who you talk to, are only available for an extremely limited time frame and are usually brewed within a day of being picked. Their distinct flavor and unmistakable aroma are as exciting for brewers as they are for beer fans. But the story doesn’t start with the harvest—it starts years earlier under the care of hops farmers.
With fresh hop season quickly approaching, we chatted with Jake TeSelle, founder of Crooked Yard Hops, to discuss every beer lover’s favorite ingredient: hops.
It seems like it was a lifetime ago when I was writing a craft beer guide to the freshly canceled SXSW Festival. The weeks continued to roll on and, like the majority of urban apartment dwellers, my partner and I felt cooped up with nothing but canceled plans to keep us company. At the end of May, after hearing that my husband and I would both be working remotely at least until the end of the year, we packed up the pup and left Austin, TX.
It had been a long time since my last road trip and much had changed. We headed north to escape the Texas heat and barren landscape. On this trip, masks and hand sanitizer were our new road trip essentials; we stayed at AirBnBs whenever we could and restricted our indoor activities to buying groceries. And after two months on the road, our trip took us to Glacier National Park and Kalispell, MT, a little town with some sizeable beers, like at Sacred Waters Brewing Co.
Every year a handful of breweries burst onto the scene and seem to gain overwhelming popularity overnight. These breweries are often coveted in trading circles and are setting the tone in their local communities. A brewery that one could say fits into this category is Mountains Walking. Mountains Walking in Bozeman, Montana has been open for a couple of years now and has quietly been perfecting their craft and people have been taking notice in 2020.
While checking the date for writing this post, it really hit me that half of the year is already over. I’m not sure I’m relieved or bummed about that. In six months this year has produced all sorts of hard times for multitudes of people. One thing I’m sure everyone can agreed on is that COVID-19 stole months of our lives that we’ll never get back. While that’s unfortunate, that should be all the more reason the seize the moment and live life to the fullest. Get out there and explore some new breweries or beer bars and support this industry that we all enjoy so much. This is What We’re Drinking.
Most people in the country are a month or more into social distancing and stay at home orders, and have completely lost track of time and social norms. Is it acceptable to have a coffee stout at breakfast? Or a beer at lunch when working from home? I think we all know the answers to these questions, but as cabin fever and the groundhog day effect sets in, people start venturing into the unknown to save their sanity and prevent complete boredom. Good luck to everyone out there—stay safe, stay healthy and support your local breweries! This is What We’re Drinking.
Montana tends to fly under the radar when it comes to craft beer. There are plenty of people that know about one or two breweries in the state, but many might be surprised at how much Montanans love their craft beer. Montana has a lot of breweries and ranks second in the nation in breweries per capita. Given the low population of many cities in the state, a significant number of breweries can/bottle their beers and distribute across the state, as well as many of the neighboring states.
It’s still hard to believe that it’s 2020. There are a lot of people out there that were convinced we’d have flying cars and be living like the Jetsons by now. While we’re not quite there yet, we have a ton of great craft beer to explore and experience in the meantime. This is what we’re drinking.
Happy Friday, 9-5ers! And Happy Monday to all of the industry friends out there. Regardless of which boat you fall into, either makes for a great occasion to drink some beer. I think you’ll notice a delicious trend in this week’s edition of What We’re Drinking: fruit beers. Yum. June is a-knockin’, folks. Break out the fruited wheats, berliner weisses, and radlers, please. *clink*